The Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are building new piers, wharves and rail yards in order to stay ahead of the competition. Upon completion, the new facilities will move more freight than the Port of Savannah, GA – No. 4 among North American ports. The new construction is the largest and most expensive so far – current upgrades will cost the ports about $6 billion.
According to port experts and officials, expansion is necessary to maintain the 40% share of Asian imports handled by the Port of LA and Long Beach.
“The American Assn. of Port Authorities said recent survey results show that U.S. ports have $46 billion in upgrades planned over the next five years, partly to jockey for new business from the widening of the Panama Canal, which is slated for completion in 2014. The nation’s ports are competing for tens of thousands of new jobs that are among the best-paying blue-collar positions in the U.S.”
There were 709,000 trade jobs in pre-recession 2007 among Los Angeles, Orange, Ventura, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego and Imperial counties. During the recession, that number dropped to 600,000. Currently, it stands at 640,000. Many expect the employment numbers to jump once construction is complete.
To read the entire article, visit the Los Angeles Times website. Ronald D. White reports, 7/19/2012.